Can Recovery Make You a Better Person?
Part of recovery means letting go of some of the behaviors and choices you made in active addiction. In recovery, you may benefit from making authentic connections with other people who are living positive and happy lives. If this doesn’t come naturally to you, don’t worry, here are some tips to start becoming a better person in recovery.
5 Ways to Improve Your Life in Recovery
Here are a few ways you can start making positive changes:
- Know who you are. When you take the time to figure out what matters most to you, what values drive your purpose, and where your integrity lies, you feel more confident in who you are. This confidence translates into allowing other people’s choices to roll off your back, dismissing the behaviors or choices of others that might otherwise cause you to be judgmental or aggressive, and giving you the ability to be calm, kind, and present.
- Be flexible. You cannot control the choices of others, how circumstances unfold, or when and how difficult situations arise. It can be stressful if you are heavily attached to an outcome or if you need everything to remain orderly. It will be a lot easier for you and your relationships with people if you are flexible whenever possible. This is as easy as noticing when your initial response is stress, then choosing to stop to take a breath before deciding how to proceed with integrity.
- Support the people around you. You are not the only one fighting the long hard road back from active addiction. The people around you in recovery are also struggling with their family relationships, keeping up with work, and avoiding drug and alcohol use at the same time. Everyone else, in recovery or not, also has difficulties they are facing: the loss of a loved one, trauma, financial difficulties, and worries that will not go away. Though you will not always know the details, you have the opportunity to support the people you come in contact with by giving them the benefit of the doubt if they are having a bad day, providing them with resources and information, and showing them by example that the world can be a kind place.
- Follow through on your commitments. When you say you are going to do something, make sure you follow through. Whether it is helping your friend move., cleaning up after a meeting, or bringing extra sodas or chips to a party. It doesn’t have to be a big commitment to be important. In fact, your relationships with other people are built on showing up in little ways consistently.
- Practice compassion. When you are faced with someone having a bad day, someone who is not mentally or emotionally capable, or someone who is irritating you, have compassion. Do not indulge in the urge to shut them down, get in their way, or give them a hard time. Instead, choose to help them out, give them your attention, and be accommodating. Taking just a few seconds of your time can light up someone’s day, help them change their mood, and improve their interactions with other people going forward. It can also improve your mood, help you to continue having positive interactions with people throughout the day, and feel better about yourself along the way.
American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.
While we are unable to respond to your feedback directly, we'll use this information to improve our online help.